What Niche Bloggers Can Do to Attract Traffic

Three things you can do starting now, to grow your audience and attract traffic to your site.

Image by Unorthodoxy (CC BY-SA 2.0)

As bloggers, we write about our passions and obsessions. Interested in Autism? Drawing? Cooking? Sobriety and recovery? Humor? No matter which subject you choose to write about, there’s a community of people on WordPress.com who share your interests. In today’s post, we’ll look at three ways niche bloggers can find their tribe, grow their communities, and attract traffic to their sites.

Tagging FTW

Tagging your posts is critical to finding your community. When you tag a post, you’re grouping it among posts on that same topic. When a user searches that tag in the WordPress.com Reader, your post will appear in the list of posts returned. Tagging puts you in front of new readers, expanding your reach to those who are interested in the same subjects.

As you tag, be sure to consider related topics. For example, if you blog about cooking exploits and recently posted about that awesome quinoa salad you made, you might choose to tag the post with food, cooking, quinoa, salad, and healthy. When choosing tags, be selective. We recommend between five and fifteen tags and categories per post. Posts with more than fifteen tags and categories are removed from topic pages to ensure that content that appears remains relevant.

Just a handful of the topics that WordPress.com bloggers are writing about each day.

Just a handful of the topics that WordPress.com bloggers are writing about each day.

Getting engaged

Attracting traffic is a lot like making friends. To make friends, you need to meet people, be confident in being yourself, and make a real connection. Making a connection means reaching out to bloggers in your niche by following tags in your Reader, reading and subscribing to the blogs that resonate with you, and showing a bit of love with likes and thoughtful comments. Earlier this year, we profiled Christy, blog proprietress over at Running on Sober, whose friendly approach in the blogosphere has earned her a loyal following and a fun and supportive community. In that interview, Christy shared her secret to making new blog friends.

“From the very first day I hit that first publish button I have had nothing but positive reactions,” says Christy. “I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I am not shy. I’ll talk to anyone. If someone visits my blog and leaves a comment, I’m going to say thank you in some way, usually via a direct response and often a visit. If I read an interesting post or visit a fun blog, I’m going to say ‘Hey, I like your style, thank you for this post — do you like Fritos?'”

Getting read all over

According to Pew Research, mobile device use continues to increase around the world. As of January, 2014, 58% of adults in the US owned a smartphone and you know what? They’re reading your blog on it — on the train, in line, on the bus, and before they go to sleep at night.

What does this mean to you? Be sure your theme is mobile friendly, which means that the theme accommodates visitors, no matter whether they read your site on a desktop computer, a tablet, or a smartphone. Not completely sure your theme is mobile friendly? Be sure to enable a mobile theme for your site. Go to Appearance > Mobile and select “Yes” next to the “Enable mobile theme” radio button. This ensures that your content is easily read by site visitors, no matter which device they choose when visiting you.

Go to Appearance > Mobile to enable a mobile theme to ensure visitors can read your content easily, no matter which device they use to visit your site.

Go to Appearance > Mobile to enable a mobile theme to ensure visitors can read your content easily, no matter which device they use to visit your site.

Bonus! Sign up for Blogging 201: Branding and Traffic

Interested in learning more? As part of our “Blogging U” series, we’re launching a two-week intensive course on Branding and Traffic starting on April 15th. Each day, we’ll publish tips on things like editorial calendaring, examining stats, monetizing your blog, and maximizing social media exposure along with a specific task or two you can do to solidify your brand, make real connections, and attract more traffic. Interested? Learn more and sign up today.


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Krista

54 Comments

Comments are closed.

  1. timethief

    Perhaps enabling enabling the Mobile theme, which is a completely different theme, is not recommended for those using responsive layout themes.

    • Krista

      Good point! If a theme is already responsive, there’s no need to enable the mobile theme — unless the site owner prefers the mobile theme’s look on mobile devices.

      For those that reading along in the thread and wondering whether or not their theme is responsive, see if your theme is on this list of responsive themes.

  2. thisisyourbestyear

    Thanks, I need this information. I can’t wait to learn more.

  3. stylelysa

    Thank you for the tips. I’ll surely give them a try.

  4. andreabadgley

    Already signed up for 201 – can’t wait to see what y’all bring us. I’m pretty sure its going to be awesome.

  5. SmallHouseBigGarden

    Can you explain with a bit more detail what’s involved in Blogging 201 Branding and Traffic? Are you expecting participants to write a post 14 days in a row? Before I sign up, I’d like to know more of what I’m getting into!

    • Krista

      Here’s a bit more detailed info about our blogging challenges — the short answer is that there is a variety of tasks and topics in Blogging 201 — we won’t be asking you to write a post every day, though you’re welcome to, if you like.

  6. Jesus Rosas

    Thanks a lot for the information, it is a good way to improve our audience and engagement with our readers!

  7. Little Miss Menopause

    I have met scores of wonderful people but now I really want someone to comment and ask me if I like a crunchy processed lunch product high in sodium.

    Thanks for article and especially tip on mobile friendly! Off to check.

  8. eclecticoddsnsods

    That’s very helpful. Re: the tags and categories, you say 15, how is that split between tags and categories? Also I have tagged my post specifically then done a search through a second blog of mine and nothing has come up, eventhough there is no one else using that tag? My other question is do tags have any search relevance outside of WordPress? thank you :-)

    • Krista

      You can have any combination of tags and categories, as long as together, the number doesn’t exceed 15. For example, you can have 7 categories and 8 tags, or vice versa — any combo is fine. If you’re not finding that your posts are appearing in the Reader, please give us a shout in Support.

      This article shares a bit of information on tags and Google.

      • eclecticoddsnsods

        Thank you and do tags and categories have any bearing on outside search i.e., through Google, etc., or is it just an internal WordPress search? facility?

        • Krista

          Here’s the relevant information from the article I linked in my reply:

          Myth: The more tags and categories I use for a post, the better it is for Google.

          Fact: Using a bunch of tags and categories that have little to do with your posts won’t increase your site’s visibility. Actually, Google doesn’t rely on tags or categories — it can tell what your post is about from its content (or it should be able to), as Matt Cutts explains here.

  9. karljamaica

    So helpful for new bloggers like me. Thank you.

  10. matthewcromwell

    I didnt realise more than 15 tags and removals were made. Thanks for the information, and well written.

  11. Lisa Lewis

    These tips are awesome, just wish I wasn’t already doing them!

  12. triciatallen

    This is great. I like what was shared about Christy (Running on Sober blog). It makes sense to be friendly and engaging. I try my best to do that so that I can meet more people on WordPress and hopefully learn from those I admire.

  13. phreshideasanddesigns

    Krista, tip # 3 made me do a double-take on my own settings! Haha, but thankfully I had enabled mobile theme. Thanks for the overall insight.

  14. Terry Madeley

    Some great advice, especially around tagging. Thanks!

  15. Rick McCargar

    Over the past two years, I’ve gone from zero, to over 1100 followers here, and 1678 subs on Youtube, plus 142,000 views here and 458,000 views on youtube, by doing the things suggested here, and by communicating on other platforms, like reddit.

    Reddit has sub-communities for almost every hobby, but you have to be careful to actually be a contributing member of the community, not just posting your own links, or they’ll consider you a spammer.

    Best of luck, and by luck, I mean those things we do to create opportunities for ourselves!

  16. aerialhorizon

    Thanks so much for this…I was adding far too many tags. You are helping me clean up my act and hopefully find new followers in the process!

  17. Michael Stavola

    How do you tag on a WordPress blog?

  18. runningonsober

    “We’re going to need a bigger -boat-, err, bag of Fritos.”

    Thanks for the nice mention, Krista!

    Couldn’t agree more with your tips (as I comment from my mobile). Don’t be afraid to engage. Don’t just “follow.” Say hi and click around on other commenters. I’ve met so many diverse friends just from clicking on people who looked fun and interesting and then saying hello.

    Thanks again, Christy

  19. Debbie Accomazzo, Founder - All About Girls

    Yes, please … take me from rookie to rockin’ my people! Niche currently equates to girl serving and nonprofit agency missions.

    I’m ready for the challenge and I’ll be happy to spread some sunshine along the way.

  20. shb.sul

    Sorry – but what do you mean by niche bloggers? I guess I am one of them since I am a beginner – thanks for the tips!

    • Krista

      When we say “niche” bloggers, we’re referring to people who blog about a specific subject — say Autism, music, books, etc.

  21. Konsilo

    How about when you’re blogging in a language other than English? That in itself practically defines you as a niche blogger…

  22. myjobaustralia

    So useful – especially the point about mobiles. You can’t ignore the stats that more and more eyeballs are going mobile. This can completely change how you write your blog.

  23. saytishannah

    Haha I honestly love the photo you used for this post! I used to live in Saigon myself and goodness, if there’s one word to describe the streets swamped with motocycles, it’s “traffic” ;)

  24. Joanna Aislinn

    Very helpful ideas, especially all those related to tagging. Thank you!

  25. John R. McClarren

    I’ve had my blogsite for a year and a half now and still have not attracted all that many REAL visitors. Most of them are bogus, and my topics are very broad (mostly controversial subjects). Now, if I can figure out how to tag those posts, that may help a lot. Thanks for this post.

  26. The Kat's Meow

    Honestly great! I was already doing the tagging but the other 2 ways to really get your stuff out there is fantastic ! Thank you :)

  27. njadams1

    Just signed up for BLOGGING 201: BRANDING, GROWTH, AND TRAFFIC. Excited to get started.

  28. Scripta Manum

    This is a very helpful article on improving traffic and communication, so that people’s works and thoughts never go unappreciated or overlooked. Thank you for sharing it with the rest of us.

  29. Kathleen Krueger

    I didn’t know about the issue with over-tagging your posts. Thanks!

  30. elisawadsworth

    Good info on tagging. Thanks for the info.

  31. nlockier

    Thanks for this great load of information WordPress! I am still learning everyday and I didn’t have the Mobile Theme enabled! Thanks, I do now and what a difference the look of enabling that made on my smartphone view.

  32. Munira's World

    Thanks so much! I’ll use these tips!

  33. Mgr. Daniel Žídek

    Good. Will surely try to implement some of the tricks and tips within my posts. Thanks! :)

  34. thetarotman

    This was great! Thank you for this. Great advice, all around.

  35. Abhishek Jha

    Really great post… I made a huge impact by adding tags to my blog posts, and enabling mobile theme… :)

  36. hannamar

    Thanks for the tips. I’m just starting my blog so I need all the help I can get

  37. suecoletta

    Already signed up for 201. Can’t wait!

  38. christineelittle

    Good tips! Gonna check out a mobile theme :)

  39. clint4c

    Thanks. This is the most helpful information I have read on this topic. I am going to attempt to make my blog more reachable for another month and if it works———-Neale

  40. caramelsarajo

    This is a nice post. I love being able to find blogs on topics I like. Why not support other writers? It’s easy and fun. Everyone wants to know what they are doing matters to someone.

  41. Giffard

    Really helpful post. Thank you.

  42. mamabear53

    So helpful, I am just starting this whole blogging thing as a way to reach out to other stay at home mothers who are also just trying to make it through the day, all fingers and toes intact!

  43. aletifer

    Very good points you’ve made! And your emphasis on making blogs mobile- and tablet-friendly is so important. I read a 2013 study that said 54% of all American internet users have access to a mobile device, and of those, 66% of them browse the web on their mobile device every single day. They’re no longer nice extras; they’ve become an integral part in how people access the web.

  44. HallyuNoona

    Really interesting post, Niche blogging for a quite crowded niche (Kpop, expanding to other areas of Korean culture once I have a handle on this part.) can be a bit demoralising. One step at a time :) I’ve signed up for the blogging 201, just hope I don’t feel out of my depth!

  45. diyjayne

    Thanks for the tips on tagging and categories! I had no idea i was overdoing it here, I thought I was doing myself a favor by adding more tags, not the reverse!!

  46. clawstrikah

    Thanks for the cool tip! As a new blogger it’s always helpful to see so many posts on getting our feet wet!

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